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04-30-2008, 09:28 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Shrewsbury, England
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Lens(es) for days out to sports stadium

I'm going with friends to the European Football Championships this June. We have tickets for two games (Vienna & Geneva), and Bob Dylan (Salzburg), which will effectively be day-trips from our central base. We'll be sat in the audience, so a tripod and big kit-bag aren't possible. I'm trying to decide what lens(es) to buy to take on these day-trips.

I'm afraid that if I use my current lenses (see my sig), I will be swapping lenses constantly, missing photo-ops, risking dust, and missing the action, as during a match wide-angle & telephoto photo-ops pop up frequently and unpredictably.

I need a setup which is:
A) Actually obtainable, not the kind of lenses which turn up on a specialist website somewhere, once in a blue moon.
B) Affordable, relatively - up to the high-hundreds in GBP as a total.
C) Cover wide-angle down to at least 24mm, preferably wider
D) Cover telephoto up to at least 200mm
E) Focus & expose reliably and reasonably quickly with good sharpness at all focal-lengths
F) Portable - no huge lenses, 1 lens preferred, 2 maximum.
G) Won't give me back ache or bag-snatch paranoia for the rest of the day.
H) I'd like to have at least the possibility (if only I'm good enough) of better-quality pictures than the kit-zooms can produce.
I) Most importantly - minimise the shots lost through having the wrong lens fitted at the wrong moment.

The obvious choice would seem to be the Tamron/Pentax 18-250, but reports suggest that its performance drops away, away from mid-focal length and apertures. I'm thinking that I could maybe do better with, e.g. a good quality normal-to-tele zoom for most of the time and a lightweight wide-angle which I'll only need to switch to occasionally. Can you suggest any lens setups along these lines, or alternative setups which will achieve the same results?

Last time (Germany 2006), I used the TZ1, but this has poor high-ISO performance, no manual control, wouldn't lock focus on grass beyond about 175mm in 35mm-equivalent and only goes to 35mm wide-angle. This time of course I'm hoping to use my K10D.

04-30-2008, 09:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,915
so lucky to get euro tickets and have gone to the WC. if only i could dream....

there is no 1 lens that exists that meets all your criteria, and the closest one, you seem to have problems with. there have been other threads about the 18-250, i think the issues are more at the extremes.

how about a DA 12-24 + DA 55-300 combo? ... super wide and long tele, you have a gap in the middle, but with the DA 12-24, you can just move in a bit more. or you can get a DA21 instead for wide, nice and light for most walkaround use. the only downside is that all these lenses are rather slow. 24mm wide equivalent is expensive unless you consider the FA J 17-35 zoom.
04-30-2008, 10:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,110
Since you already have a 18-55, there isn't much reason to get the 18-250 anyway unless you like repeating focal lengths. It's a decent lens and covers your wide angle shots. Why not opt for a DA 50-200 or the FA J 70-300 for budget glass or the P-DA 55-300 for something a little longer and for just a few more pounds? Maybe a decent mid to long Sigma as well?

I have the Tamron 18-250 and love it. Sure it's not on par with with a combination of other lenses that may cost 2-3 times as much and achieve the same focal lengths, but it suits me and I get compliments on my stuff when I show off the photos. It also takes care of my desire for a "one lens solution" when I am traveling, which I do very frequently as well as for events such as you mentioned. Again, for some who may be uber-anal critics, it may not suit your needs, but it's a darn fine lens otherwise and takes it's place quite well in my collection of lenses.

Does your Samsung D-Xenon 50-200 fit the Pentax?

Good luck!


P.S. Pame Hellas!!

Last edited by Jasvox; 04-30-2008 at 10:17 AM.
04-30-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 214
If it were me I'd go with a Pentax 12-24mm and a Sigma 70-300 2.8 and use my feet to get the in-betweens. If you had to have the 24-70 range I'd add in a DA35, DA40 or FA50.

If all that is too expensive or too many lenses then one of the 15-300 range lenses at f4.

04-30-2008, 12:16 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Viseu, Portugal
Posts: 20
You can get the sigma 17-70 which is a very decent lens and then add some 70-300 of some kind...Sigma or Tamron.

PS: least this time you wont be sent home by Portugal just kidding.
04-30-2008, 01:35 PM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON
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PS: least this time you wont be sent home by Portugal just kidding

I second the 12-24mm or 21mm along with the Tamron 70-300 di ld
04-30-2008, 04:15 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,891
I think you will want a decently fast longer lens ... and something that may fit the budget is the new Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 ... not sure if it is available yet ... I hope it is.
It is going for around $700US new.

For what it is ... it's great value for money ... and from what I have seen in test shots ... it's quality is very good.

The normal Sigma/Tamron 70-300 lenses are fine though ... as long as you have ample lighting though ... I have a Pentax FA-J 75-300 ... and it is OK for what it does ... at 300 though it does drop off in quality and it does really test out SR as well ... a tripod/monopod is really needed on the long end.

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